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Lake Region Shriners give largest gala gift

Members of the Lake Region Shrine Club from Day County just made their biggest single contribution to the Shriners Hospital for Children, with a check for $50,000 and were considered top dogs at this year’s gala.

The annual gala was held in Minneapolis, MN Sept. 10. This was the first gala since 2019 due to the pandemic, according to Lake Region Shrine Club members Josh Bartos and Rob Kading. The club’s last contribution was therefore in 2019 at $30,000. Kading and Bartos said their club has been at the $30,000 mark for a few years now. The $50,000 check they presented this year was the single largest check this club has ever donated and was the largest single donation there this year.

According to club treasurer Don Mahlen, the Lake Region Shrine Club in the last 10 years has received over $600,000 from the Day County community through fundraising efforts which have all gone directly to the children’s hospital.

Although the gala’s goal this year was to raise $100,000 for the children’s hospital, according to Kading, they actually raised over $300,000. From the Day County area community, Bartos said the funds were raised this year from the Red Queen drawing plus various other fundraisers, raffles and boards.

“We’re very grateful to the community and all their support” Bartos said.

Kading said it gives him a good feeling to be part of the organization to make this donation.

“Seeing those kids, that’s why we do what we do. That’s what drives us,” he said.

The Lake Region Shrine Club, according to Bartos, has become a bit of a prompter and example for other Shrine clubs which donate to the childrens hospital. This year, Lake Region Shrine Club’s donation was a focal point at the gala, being highlighted by event organizers as an example of what determination can do when fundraising.

According to information Kading provided from the gala, the following is a list of what the Shriners are able to do with funds donated:

$50, lab test.

$175, one occupational therapy session.

$300, one radiology visit.

$750, a motion analysis session.

$1,000, a foot orthodontics, or adaptive shoe.

$2,000, a full day of rehabilitation.

$10,000, a full prosthetic.

Of the funds raised by the Shriners, Kading said every dollar goes to help kids.

Bartos said, “Something we say is, ‘We hope you don’t ever need us, but if you do, we’re here.’”

Within the past decade, over half a million dollars have been raised and donated to the Shriners Childrens Hospital out of the Day County community, according to Bartos.

Starting Oct. 1, they intend to start the Red Queen drawing fundraiser again.

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